Two Orangutans, Pongo pygmaeus, Gunung Leuser National Park, Sumatra, Indonesia, Asia
1. Morning. We’re two Orangutans, Pongo pygmaeus, in Gunung Leuser National Park, Sumatra, Indonesia, Asia.
snail kit
2. Snail kite approaching the landing zone.
russian cat
3. All this reading is hard work for a little cat.
4. I’m glad I don’t have four leaves, otherwise, I’d have been picked, and then died.
wren subbaing
5. Don’t mind me. I’m just sunbathing. Even very little birds need to cool down sometimes.
6. My friend, Vikki, in Hungary, sent me this. It’s growing on her terrace. Anyone know what it is?
7. You pushed me, you bully!¬ Tell Munguin.
8. You like my bed?
6 Fun Facts About Sheep You Might Not Know - Modern Farmer
9. Did your mum not tell you it’s rude to stick your tongue out at people?
10 Facts about Geese - Farm Animals - Topics - Campaigns & Topics ...
10. What are you looking at? Everybody gets an itch from time to time!
I Can Has Cheezburger? - piglets - Funny Animals Online - Cheezburger
11. I love getting my tummy tickled.
12. When they sang about plants being as high as an elephants eye, did they mean your eye or my eye?
13. Minnie, amused by the fact that the grasshopper she brought in as a gift is now in a jar waiting to be taken outside by John and released back into the wild.
14. At long last, I’ve found a use for the cat.
Pangolin guide: including why they're the most trafficked animal ...
15. Did you think I was a pine cone?
16. What? Oh, that. Nah, we’re Icelandic horses, this is nothing to us.
Togo: Lome
17. Lomé, the capital of Togo.
18. You say you’re an intrepid reporting team for Munguin’s Republic, now prove it by getting my picture on there.
19. It probably won’t come as a massive surprise that this is called the sausage tree, or Kigelia.
20. He’s my dog and I’m his orangutan. It’s a fair enough deal. It works for us.

192 thoughts on “SOPPY SUNDAY”

  1. Ah, how life-affirming, Tris!

    In pic 3, I have to say that historical novels have rather the same effect on me.

    Pic 19, the sausage tree – I am pretty familiar with those! You may be interested to know that the locals use them in making beer. That’s the only thing they’re used for, I think, though my knowledge is hardly encyclopaedic.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Ah, good, Ed.

      Have you ever tried to plough you way through Crime and Punishment? Oh lord.

      So these sausages make good beer? I know that raw, the fruit is poisonous t humans, although many animals enjoy them, but according to Wiki, they can be eaten if cooked and sliced.

      I fancy some 🍺 made from sausages!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I had a rush of feeling “That can’t be all” immediately I posted the above, so here’s an article from Nigeria about Kigelia: I have a feeling I was told some of the other uses of the plant back in my Kenya days – it would be in character for me to ask –and the use in folk medicine for treating kidney disorders does seem familiar. As the article says, Kigelia appears to have a strong diuretic effect. I suppose that would encourage people to drink more of the stuff, useful if your pub owner doesn’t have access to salted peanuts to put out on the bar…

      Liked by 2 people

    3. Agreed on No 3, Ed. Literary mogadon. I was going to show off my Cyrillic and translation skills but you beat me to it. And in an early attempt at your Groan of the Day Award, could this be the cat of nine tales, or even more?

      Liked by 4 people

      1. A good attempt, John. I would say that you are definitely in the running for today’s FGGA (MNR Edition) award. Am I right in saying that’s a Bulgarian second-hand book stall? If so, the Russian just happens to be identical for those two words.

        Mogadon always used to leave me with a ferocious hangover. Bad enough that I’d prefer to fall asleep after a couple of paragraphs of some teejus historical novel. I don’t think they prescribe it (Mogadon) any more.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Russian, I think, Ed, although very close to Bulgarian. Can’t do the Cyrillic on my keyboard but the transliteration from the Bulgarski equivalent would be ‘Istoricheski romani’. Many words are common to both languages, or close enough to be recognised.

          I was surprised when s friend here told me he’d studied Russian at university. Surely there’s no need as the languages are so similar, I said. Yes, at the basic level, but not the higher reaches. Not that he’s put his language studies to practical use. He now runs (very successfully) his own private taxi business.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. John, my vast erudition and peerless googling skills tell me that historical novels are исторические романы / istoricheskiye romany in Russian and исторически романи / istoricheski romani in Bulgarian, so the final letters are different.

            For the benefit of non-Cyrillic-reading Munguinites, and without getting into the weeds of pronunciation and phonology, in the noun that Russian vowel ы – it looks like a digraph, but it’s not – is usually transliterated as Y/y in English, but it’s not pronounced like any version of y you ever heard in any Western European language. The е at the end of the adjective indicates that the noun is plural; it’s a quick and dirty “yeah” in its pronunciation; that’s why the transliteration is iye rather than ie.

            A dear old Russian émigrée friend of mine once described that ы sound, in quasi-Latin, or maybe even in real Latin, as “vocalis vomitativa”, because you can describe it approximately as a mid-high (middle of the tongue up toward the palate) unrounded (no kissy lips) vowel sound – which is the sound a person makes while – um – upchucking.

            It doesn’t really sound so strained when used in normal speech, of course. Here’s the pronunciation of romany in Russian: And here’s istoricheskiye: You can tell from those how close the languages are. Bulgarian is also close to, if not identical with, Macedonian.

            Here’s istoricheski in Bulgarian: The form is found in Russian too, but it’s a different part of speech. My go-to for pronunciations doesn’t have romani in Bulgarian, unfortunately, but I think we can guess at it successfully.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. You should defo teach languages to secondary school.

              Your descriptions would work wonders at making pronunciation interesting.

              (That’s intended as a compliment. One thing Brits of all nationalities have done [with few exceptions] is make language learning so uniform, formulaic and dreary that all but the most dedicated lose interest within the first class, never to regain it.)

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Thanks, Tris!

                Learning the absolute basics of a language can be teejus enough even without teachers who are either unable or unwilling to liven it up somehow. But mainly it’s cultural: if you speak a language that other people don’t bother to learn, there’s lots of pressure to learn at least a lingua franca of some kind, such as Swahili in East Africa (originally a trade pidgin between Bantu and Arabic, which became a creole then a lingua franca into the interior of the continent), or French in France’s colonies in West Africa and elsewhere, Portuguese ditto from Cape Verde and São Tomé to Macao, Russian in the many components and satellites of the old Soviet Union, Mandarin Chinese out of the many Sino-Tibetan languages. And so it goes. But nowadays English is pretty much the universal lingua franca, so native English-speakers are deluded into thinking that monolingualism is the norm; that everyone else speaks English and not only that, they ought to; and are frequently so convinced of the superiority of their language and culture that they get up everyone else’s noses. It goes hand in hand with that damn exceptionalism, delusions of Manifest Destiny, and febrile dreams of Empire.

                Liked by 3 people

          1. As Munguinites are most likely already aware, the word “catamite” originates in the Ancient Greek personal name Ganymede, the name given also to one of the four Galilean satellites of Jupiter. This makes sense because Ganymede, in Greek mythology, was a Trojan boy of great beauty whom Zeus carried away to be his lover and to be cupbearer to the gods (my thanks to for that definition). Zeus was obviously bisexual (at least), a fact which must give comfort to many. Incidentally, appearing for purposes of seduction in people’s bedrooms, or even al fresco, as swans, golden rain, bulls and so on demonstrates a penchant for role-play, I always say, in addition to a rather troubling lack of respect for people’s privacy.

            Not all catamites come from Troy, naturally, and have nothing to do with cats (hopefully). None of those things needed to be said, I have to say, but I said them anyway, which is probably a shame and a disgrace, so I apologize retroactively.

            Liked by 1 person

              1. In fairness, if you are the head billidakus (is that how you spell it?) of the gods’ world, you get to be as kinky as you want.

                I mean, who’s going to have a stern word?

                A bit like Munguin, I suppose.

                Liked by 1 person

                  1. Well, Ed, it was a bit of guesswork as to how to spell it.

                    My gran used to talk about someone in charge as the head billidakus… probably a bit pleased with themselves, but definitely in charge.

                    I’ve never seen it written, and I spelled it the way it sounds.

                    Anyone else ever seen it

                    Liked by 1 person

    4. Ed…..I have a friend who claims to have read the first 100 pages of War and Peace. Then he gave up. He says he couldn’t have kept all the characters straight, even if they had had recognizable and spellable names.

      On another literary subject, I really believe that a lot of the Shakespeare worship must be about steady employment for people who took a literature degree at university. I think of the resident of Omaha (Nebraska) who leaves a presentation of one or the other of those GREAT plays performed by a professional Shakespeare company……..and announces how he absolutely LOVED it, (having never read it or studied it in school.) I heard a Shakespeare scholar once say that the average well-educated modern theater goer, absent actual previous study of the work, cannot possibly have understood more than 50% of the dialog, spoken at a theatrical pace by actors on the stage.

      “In my experience, reading or watching Shakespeare is, by turns, baffling, tiring, frustrating and downright unpleasant”…….Peter Beach (The Guardian)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I gave up before getting nearly that far through War and Peace, Danny. I’m really not a fan of historical fiction, even when they’re supposed to be Great Literature.

        Anna Karenina was bad enough.

        Russian names are a bit of a black art for those of us wot did not grow up speaking the language. There’s a fairly complex intimacy / respect continuum to be negotiated in working out which combinations of Russians’ three names (imya, i.e. (given) name; otchestvo, i.e. patronymic (father’s given / first name plus an ending signifying -son or -daughter); and familiya, i.e. family name ). And that’s before we get into the vast territory of Russian diminutive and affective diminutive names. E.g., Misha = Mikhail; Sasha = Aleksandr or Aleksandra; Masha = Mariya; Tolya = Anatoliy; Zhenya = Evgeniy or Evgeniya. (Alert Munguinites may notice that the diminutives of the male names end in -a. This means that they decline as feminine nouns in each of their six cases, though any adjectives or verbs decline and conjugate as masculine. Though non-Russian-speakers may find this odd, it’s one of the least of Russian’s oddities).

        Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it:

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Never tried Anna Karenina.

          Gave Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment a go, but wasn’t keen on it.

          But I don’t like Dickens or Scott either.

          I have problems remembering who’s who in English… Crime and Punishment with names I couldn’t pronounce and a cast of thousands, just put me off.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Tris…..YES! I too have enough trouble keeping track of the English names of characters in American novels…..much less Russian classics. Someday, maybe someone can explain to me what makes Moby Dick such an American classic. My literature teachers certainly failed at that task. I DO however fully understand why it was a commercial failure when it came out. No English teachers pushing it on high school students 😉

            Liked by 2 people

            1. LOL.

              I think I might have read it when I was a kid, but it certainly wasn’t at school. It was probably one of my university teaching aunts that though it would better me.

              I had rather a sluagh of them.

              Liked by 1 person

          2. Actually, Dostoevsky is my favourite among all of them. I realized after a while that I pretty much loathed Tolstoy anyway, the pretentious, neurotic, sexist, entitled git.

            My favourite bit of Dostoevsky is the Grand Inquisitor thing from the Brothers Karamazov, and just for those Munguinites wot are interested, I’ve tracked down the translation by Helena Blavatsky (see Theosophy), which dates back to 1881, shortly after Dostoevsky’s death. There are many translations of the work into English, but that one’s free from Project Gutenberg:

            To get an idea of the kind of challenges we translators face, you might like to take a quick look at this piece by a Patrik Bergman which by pure serendipity includes various translations of passages from the Brothers Karamazov (but not including the Blavatsky one):

            I don’t know anything about Patrik Bergman, but if he’s the one I think he is he’s a Czech, or possibly a Slovak. I don’t know either of those two mutually intelligible languages well enough to tell the difference without further research.

            Liked by 2 people

        2. Ed………I can’t imagine how you have such knowledge of the subject. That Wikipedia article is beyond belief BTW. 😉

          I hadn’t really thought about the names of the characters being such a barrier to getting into War and Peace. But after my friend commented on it, it was so obvious.

          Liked by 2 people

      2. I think it’s a bit of a pity about Shakespeare (I can’t understand much of it either). If it were just understandable, it might be not bad reading because some of the stories aren’t bad…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Tris…..Someone told me that back in Victorian times, there were popular Shakespearean productions that were abridged and rewritten with happy endings. The tragedies do have a way of ending up with a lot of dead people lying about the stage. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes, tragedy at that time meant having unhappy ending, while the comedies, aren’t supposed to be funny, just that they have happy endings.

            I went to school in England and every single year we had to read one. I found them all tragic. But I was lucky a few times in that a film came out and I got the just of the story from that… once you add the “Notes” that you could buy, it meant you managed to avoid having to really study them.

            I did the same with Thomas Hardy “Far from the Madding Crowd” and with Shaw’s “St Joan”.

            Dreary stuff.

            Liked by 1 person

              1. Absolutely.

                I’ve never understood why educationalists, desirous of fostering a habit of reading in later life, insist on forcing children to read stuff in archaic language that they won’t understand.

                J K Rowling, politics apart, was responsible for a massive increase in children’s reading with her Harry Potter books.

                You really don;t need notes for them, but they are ripping good stories and the characters are well drawn!

                Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh, Shakespeare? I was roundly put off Shakespeare by being forced to study it in school under threat of being whacked on the palms with a tawse or rapped on the knuckles by a yardstick. I rediscovered Shakespeare later when helping out some American actors of my acquaintance in Vienna who were putting on Macbeth in the English theatre there, and having some problems with pronunciation. That and watching the 1968 Romeo and Juliet film by Zeffirelli – I suspect that the rather decorative Leonard Whiting had something to do with it.

        It helps to have the odd kind of verbal memory I was born with, I think. I can put it another way: language of any kind requires an effort of translation of some kind and degree before it can sink into one’s consciousness. I hope that makes sense to other Munguinites, because I only think I know what I mean.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Ed……Yes, I can see how working with pronunciation with a troop of Shakespearean actors could aid in appreciating the work.

          And that brings to mind translations of Shakespeare into other languages. Since Shakespeare is (they tell me) so wonderfully great due to his use of the English language, then how great can its translation into another language really be? Of course, taking the idea further, how can great poetry ever be translated from its native language at all, in a way that conveys the essence of the poetry. Surely Homer would be best appreciated by reading it in pre-classical Homeric Greek, which (Wiki says) “shows a mixture of features of the Ionic and Aeolic dialects.”

          Once again….Interesting!

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Interesting. I can really hear individual words. Most native French speakers for me sound like they’re running everything together.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Yes, they do.

                Actually the language is designed to make it easy to speak quickly with “liaisons” making one word run into another, and on occasions if that makes an awkward sound, adding a letter which means nothing at all.

                eg: Is there? or Are there?

                Translation: Y a il? (pronounced EE AH EEL)

                That would be awkward to say, so they stick a ‘t ‘in the middle of it.

                It becomes: Y a-t-il? (Pronounced EE AT EEL)

                Far easier to say quickly.

                There are many other things they do to make the language flow quickly and easily and I’m sure you’re not in the least bit interested in them, but it does make the language sound quite easy on the ear…even if foreigners can’t understand a word of it.

                Liked by 3 people

          1. I have to say that Homer in the original was a bit of a struggle for me, Danny, when I studied it in school. Part of it was a rather poor choice of extracts provided by our Classics teacher, seeing as how I wasn’t at all excited by the notion of princesses with nice hair bathing naked in rivers; maybe our teacher was, who knows. Still, I got lucky: when I did my Higher in it, the passage was the one where Odysseus and his men are in with Polyphemos the Cyclops and poke his eye out with a sharpened stick (I paraphrase), and get away camouflaged as sheep.

            I was lucky because not only had we studied that passage in class, but we had studied it one afternoon when for some reason I was feeling as sick as a dog and about to throw up, and the notion of having an eye poked out almost did for me. Sort of seared it into my brain.

            Liked by 3 people

              1. “his men are in with Polyphemos the Cyclops and poke his eye out with a sharpened stick (I paraphrase), and get away camouflaged as sheep.”

                Plot seems a bit contrived. Probably not something Hollywood would be interested in.
                I probably need to stick with an English translation. 😉

                Liked by 1 person

                    1. Same with the Bible. Far too much smiting of enemies and afflicting people with plagues and boils, regicides, destruction of cities, drowning of armies – and that’s before we get to any stonings of adulteresses and crucifixions of dissidents and heretics.

                      Liked by 2 people

                  1. A couple of links on a matter of language and pronunciation. Perhaps of interest (or not):

                    I’ve noticed that there are Latinos on television and radio here in the States who speak PERFECT unaccented American English on American TV, and then speak Spanish on Spanish language channels. But even though they can speak perfect American English, as soon as they come to a Spanish word or Spanish name, they immediately switch to a Spanish pronunciation that seems overdone……something like deliberate performance art for the American audience. The Phoenix Arizona news anchor in the NY Times article even trills her R’s and pronounces familiar Arizona place names in Spanish, rather than in their familiar Americanized pronunciations. Some Americans find this bizarre. I have to admit I do find it annoying. Turns out I’m apparently not the only one. If they can speak “American,” isn’t it a bit arrogant in America to make a big deal of speaking Spanish words and names the “right” way instead of the “American” way… if to involuntarily school the mindless Americans in a culture and language not their own?

                    Surely the BBC would not put up with this. You speak BBC English or you look for a new job. 😉


                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. It may not even be deliberate, Danny, because there are various odd phenomena involving the location and processing of certain noun categories in the brain: that’s the way that feels most natural to them to say them.

                      How the monolingual brain does the whole verbal thing is no better understood than the phenomenon of consciousness itself, and the multilingual brain adds additional layers of complexity. I myself have a very incomplete mental model of how I do all the in-language and cross-language stuff. And when I say “I myself”, of course I mean I Edward, who does the listening / reading, thinking and understanding of Furrin, and Kevin, who does the verbals in English. I dunno if I mentioned it on Tris’s blog before, but I was so het up during my final interpreting exam for my postgrad interpreting and translation diploma that I was in agonies thinking “Why are they continuing this torture, can’t they hear I’ve dried?” – but Kevin was quacking on happily and turned in a brilliant performance of which I – my ego, the thing I call “me” – wasn’t in a fit state to be aware of.

                      That’s why I chose the more gentlemanly pursuit of translation, which also satisfied my innate tendency toward pedantry and nitpickery.

                      Even if the Spanish pronunciations by your Latino media folk is in fact deliberate, I would say that given all the shite that Latinos (and other minorities) have to put up with from the Usual MAGA Build-That-Wall Suspects, they can be forgiven for making the point that it’s the Anglos who are the Johnny-come-latelies – and when they arrived, they pronounced the place-names all wrong because they were too dim, disrespectful and tin-eared to do it properly.

                      If it were me in their shoes, I know I bloody well would!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. Sorry, Danny – BBC English. You don’t have to sound like Lady Wotserface played by Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey to work for the BBC any more. There’s a lot less disrespect for and deprecation of non-RP (Received Pronunciation) English these days, though generally speaking that RP, class-modulated form of the language is still preferred and overvalued to a ridiculous degree.

                      I don’t speak it, and hew to the view of Irishman George Bernard Shaw when he said “It is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without making some other Englishman hate or despise him”.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. Interesting, Danny.

                      I don;t think I’ve ever heard that anywhere. Perhaps when a foreign politicians is being interviewed he or she will pronounce say a town in their own language. and certainly with the appropriate accent.

                      Recently Petula has been being interviewed on French and Belgian tv and radio about a concert she did in the Royal Albert Hall, which she pronounces in English.

                      When teaching basic French for tourism I constantly had to remind students not to Frenchify the pronunciation of Scottish town names.

                      The BBC used to be very very strict about accent. BBC English. It was, in fact RP.

                      But regional accents have crept in.


                    4. Ed….Tris…..(Rant follows)

                      Ed…..I love your “innate tendency toward pedantry and nitpickery.” 🙂
                      I do think that this is quite deliberate. It certainly is for the Latino lady at the Phoenix TV station who proudly declares as much. And I would have more respect for her if she weren’t so blatantly arrogant about it. (See rant below.)
                      As for the Latinos, they deserve respect for their language and culture, but I’m still out with the jury on the controversial disinclination of Latinos to “assimilate” after they cross the border.
                      For now, I’ll throw my support to the original American settlers of Arizona in preference to the Latinos who lost the Mexican War after all. The American Army took a third of their country fair and square. Now we get to name and pronounce things as it suits us. 😉
                      I like the Shaw quote.

                      Tris……I must look into the BBC RP thing in more detail. Interesting!
                      The point about how you deal with place names……pronunciation and spelling……. clearly plays a part in this. Looking at discussions about this online, I found lots of comments about why we call the capital of Italy Rome instead of Roma. (Equally easy to say, and the same number of letters.) Then there is Munich/Munchen and of course thousands of others. You may recall that the question came up about how a Latino speaker would pronounce Los Angeles…….as Spanish a name as you can find.

                      Thanks for all the comments. I guess this is another example of the American culture wars. I’ve been aware of this Spanish pronunciation thing watching MSNBC, which features commentators from a Spanish language channel called Telemundo who, when appearing on MSNBC speak PERFECTLY accented English, UNTIL they come to a distinctly Spanish word or name, which they speak in PERFECTLY accented Spanish. I first became aware of the phenomenon in a Mexican restaurant in Kansas City, where the Mexican lady who owns the place would speak perfect English with the customers until she pronounced the Spanish names of the dishes. I guess maybe this is a bigger deal with the TV and radio personalities along the southern border, such as the lady in Phoenix, as reported by the NY Times. This actually all happened about five years ago, and I just happened to notice it while trying to find out why Spanish speaking Latinos seem to talk so funny.

                      So what’s going on? They are Spanish and that’s just the way they talk? NO! The Phoenix lady goes so far as to trill (roll) her R’s. What American media person rolls their R’s unless they are deliberately showing off and/or making a point? In this case she is clearly making a point about HER language and culture…….and happens to mention in passing that she grew up bilingual, and BTW (she is careful to point out,) has lived in other US cities, and in South America, and Europe. So why not just go ahead and say something like…….”I’ve come here to Phoenix to educate you Arizona Yahoos about the proper Spanish pronunciation of Arizona place names, which you Americans and your ancestors have been mispronouncing for over a century, and therefore disrespecting my language and culture.”

                      What she actually said was : “I was lucky enough to grow up speaking two languages, and I have lived in other cities, in the U.S., South America, and Europe, so yes, I do like to pronounce certain things the way they are meant to be pronounced. And I know that change can be difficult, but it’s normal and over time I know that everything falls into place.” AND THEN she says, “My intention has never been to be disrespectful or dismissive, quite the contrary. I actually feel I am paying respect to the way some of Arizona’s first, original settlers intended for some things to be said.”

                      Let me just say that I definitely DID hear her “dog whistle” about”some of Arizona’s first, ORIGINAL settlers”……by which let me tell you she does NOT mean the Americans who settled Arizona Territory and brought the State of Arizona into the Union in 1912……….and established cities and towns, mispronunciations and all.

                      I might mention that “Uppity Latino” is a phrase that comes to mind. But I’d never say that……much. 😉

                      The far lefty liberals were all over this of course with their patented cultural and political correctness out the wazoo; making fun of the ignorant Arizona rednecks, with titles like “News Anchor Gets Hate For Pronouncing Words Correctly” and “News Anchor Apologizes For Her Correct Pronunciation of Spanish Words.” Sometimes I really get pissed off at the arrogant, know-it-all lefties, and not just because they lose elections for the Democrats. But they DO! I wonder if they’re making fun of the Arizona rednecks now that the electoral votes of Arizona are in play for the Dems this year. YEA……knowing the lefties…..they probably are!

                      Let me just say…..GEEEEEZE! 😉

                      Thanks again Ed and Tris for your comments. 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

                    5. PS…..Tris and Ed……On the subject of trilled (or rolled) R’s. Something similar is going on with a Scottish “br” sound. Very noticeable when a Scot pronounces “Edinburgh.” The “burgh” has something of a trilled sound, but is very brief in duration. Does this make sense, or am I not hearing it correctly? Just curious! Always wondered about it!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    6. It’s a single flap, usually, Danny, or even a retroflex /r/ à l’américaine. Observationally, we Scots are not emphasizing our /r/-s as much as we used to; they’re weakening over time. I blame this on our being constantly deaved with non-rhotic English from England. The lack of Scottish voices on our broadcast media is not just a political question, it’s a phonological one too, if you like. Add in the psychological Cringe, i.e., the Scottish inferiority complex, which makes some Scots ashamed of sounding Scottish. The end result depends on how well the speaker is able to adopt the desired English accent – usually RP or the less careful (Thames) Estuary English. Some are really bad at it: Michael Gove is an example of this (someone else can dredge up a clip of him if they want; I can’t bear the sight of the man).

                      Paul Kavanagh (Wee Ginger Dug) calls this Irritable Vowel Syndrome. I do too now.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    7. LOL yes.

                      Very good, Paul.

                      Gove is particularly odious and the only clip of him I can stand to watch is the one in which he falls on his arse on his way to Downing Street, early on in his ministerial ‘career’ when he was trying to be impressive.

                      It’s not really like me to do this… but how I laughed… like a bloody drain!


                    8. Different accents within Scotland trill the R to lesser of greater extent, Danny.

                      In many English accent the R is almost swallowed so as not to appear at all.


                    9. Yup. I’d noticed the change myself (living out of the country for a decade here and there means the changes don’t creep up on you unnoticed, a bit like boiling frogs), but I was aware that others had documented it too.

                      In non-rhotic dialects such as RP and Estuary English, the vowel sounds in earth, bird and burn are identical, and no /r/ is present (i.e., they’re non-rhotic). Us Scots turning down the volume on our /r/s is part unconscious / subconscious adaptation of speech sounds to the linguistic environment, part deliberate mimicry to achieve some perceived social status advantage by aping a privileged dialect (the reflex of which is that one’s original accent / dialect is comparatively deprecated).

                      Liked by 2 people

                    10. TV, radio and internet channels like Youtube have contributed to an “evening out” (not the night on the won sort) of accents here, Danny.

                      One of the things I noticed about 20 years ago was that watchers of Australian soaps had affected an almost Aussie accent, most noticeably by raising the tone at the end of a statement, and making it into a question.

                      Of course, it doesn’t affect everyone.

                      There are those who watch very little tv and to pick up a now sound, even over a period of time, it requires a musical ear.

                      I can’t go for a weekend to Glasgow without coming back with a west coast twang.

                      But I have a friend who lived for ten years in England and his accent never changed a bit. He simply did not pick up a new sound.

                      Me, in these circumstance? I’d have sounded born and bred Londoner.

                      Liked by 1 person

                  1. Odd schools like I went to, MN. They always say – whoever They are – that single-sex schools like mine was are hotbeds of homosexuality. I don’t think they ever got that memo at mine, unfortunately.

                    Sorry. Not relevant, but that particular hexasyllabic word has some Ancient Greek in it, just for example, as does that pentasyllabic one. But let us return to our sheep. Someone has to study those dead languages for purposes of Linnaean taxonomy, biology, bacteriology, other medical terminology, biblical studies, ancient history, archaeology (see what I did there? “Archæology” is a good one), linguistics… A knowledge of the development of languages over time adds depth to our understanding of language now, and helps translatory folk like me understand and translate languages we haven’t actually studied through our knowledge of related languages and the processes and directions in which the source languages are likely to change over time. That’s how a bod like me can understand the meaning of place names in Serbian / Croatian / Bosnian (they’re calling it BCS these days), for example, or read Catalan and Italian fairly easily. Romanian, though, is a bit more – a lot more – of a challenge, and the West Slavic languages, Czech, Slovak, Polish, Kashub, Sorbian (there may be more), are more different from the East Slavic Russian, Ukrainian and Belarussian and the South Slavic Slovene, BCS, Macedonian, Montenegran and Bulgarian than the East Slavics differ from the South Slavics.

                    As a historical footnote, in addition to or instead of the Cyrillic alphabets used today in some Slavic-speaking countries, originally introduced by the monks Cyril and Methodius from Constantinople who brought literacy to the Slavs back in the 9th century, if I remember my facts correctly, there was another one: the Glagolitic, also developed by Cyril and Methodius. To my eye it looks rather like knitting with wet spaghetti, but that’s just my own personal prejudice. Here’s an example (thanks to Wikipedia):

                    I’m sure you’re all bored stiff already, so I’ll shut up for now.

                    Liked by 3 people

            1. I suppose it depends on the skill (and flexibility?) of the translator, although the best anyone can do is probably to reconstruct the effect in the target language.
              Also, need I point out that the way schools pronounce Latin and especially Greek bears little resemblance to the originals, as far as these can be deduced. E.g. Ancient Greek had a pitch accent, just for starters!

              Liked by 2 people

              1. Eggzackly, MN! The best we can do in reconstructing the pronunciation of languages with no native speakers left is not all guesswork, but there’s certainly a fair amount of it. I did a bit of that kind of linguistics as part of my first degree, but it was pretty much all to do with European languages and, of those, pretty much all Indo-European ones – i.e., one very small corner of a vast linguistic universe, most of which remains little studied.

                Liked by 3 people

              2. Indeed. How could anyone possibly know how these languages were pronounced, and in any case they would have been pronounced differently depending on location, and probably class.

                Liked by 1 person

  2. Just out of curiosity, have any of you Munguinites seen this:

    Police investigate banner comparing Nicola Sturgeon to Hitler. This is predictably what they do. A direct link doesn’t seem to work, dammit.

    Just for clarity, Nichola Sturgeon is about as far away from a Nazi as you can get.

    How low will they go?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. It’s all over yesterday’s Scottish papers, Douglas, as Google quickly showed. I’m sure follow-ups will also be prominent in this morning’s editions. I’ve just read the Daily Record piece online and was taken aback by the comment: “This is not for the Scottish Government to respond to.”

      No? Surely this is something the SG should have no hesitation in condemning, irrespective of the person so viciously maligned. Such a passive hand-wash response is almost as shocking as the banner itself.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Douglas, John, Ed……I’m reminded of the now famous “Tea Party” Republican demonstrations of 2010. (The radicalized right wing Republicans simply went crazy when a black man was elected president in 2008.) In the USA, it now seems part of the standard far right Republican playbook to depict Democrats as Hitler or Stalin or the like. How to counter this in a politically effective manner is debated. Should a responsible Democratic party take it seriously and refute it, or simply ignore it?

        One view is that the Democratic party will never be effective again until it learns to be as mean and crazy as the Republicans. The idea being that intelligent people will ignore the insanity, but will understand that the extremest ranting is cat nip for the crazies. (For historical context, see Nixon’s racist “Southern Strategy” and the tactics of Republican National Committee Chairman Lee Atwater in service of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.) The time would come when a corrupt real estate promoter and con-man in New York City would see that a racist-inspired “birther” campaign, identifying Obama as a foreign-born usurper, would be mother’s milk to the radicalized Republicans, and a route to the White House.

        Now the craziness is Tweeted FROM the White House. A Washington Post article described Trump retweeting a posting that said “the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat,” and declaring in a Tweet, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Trump played around with proposing (and then denying that he proposes) that journalists should be murdered. WINK WINK to the media-hating MAGA crowd!

        In fairness, I should point out that my left wing Democratic friends also went out of their minds in 2016 when the electoral votes from Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin came in, and they realized that the racist, sexist, xenophobic, sexual predator who they SO loved to denounce and make fun of, would be President. So these days, there is no shortage of depictions of Trump as a fascist Nazi Stalinist dictator.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. LOL… these photographs.

          If you asked me to paint a picture of a redneck racist, your dud up there would be pretty close, if a tad fatter, than the one you show… maybe with a tattoo or so.

          But again, we have them here…

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Tris…..I would occasionally ask a foaming-at -the-mouth Obama hater exactly WHY he hated Obama so much more than other Democrats. He would always reply that it was because he is a SOCIALIST. It was always pointless to point out that in that sense, ALL of the Democrats back to FDR are “socialist.” In fact they hated Barack Obama for his dark skin and didn’t even know it themselves (in a sense.) With “dog whistle politics,” the Republicans skillfully appealed to the racism of their white voter base and convinced them that what they hate is “socialism.”

            BTW……”Arrogant Kenyan” on the sign was , after Trump’s birther movement took hold, an acceptable way for vicious white racists to recast the hateful old epithet commonly directed at well educated African-Americans, “uppity n*****”. The Atlantic published an article about the word “uppity” related to the N-word in dog-whistle politics:


            Liked by 1 person

            1. I can’t for the life of me understand people who would hate based on country of origin, colour of skin, physical attributes, religion, gender, sexuality… or anything like that.

              If a person is fundamentally good, why would any of these things matter?

              I had no idea about uppity bing racist.

              We use it here, but it has no racial connotations… I think?

              Liked by 1 person

              1. The Atlantic piece does a great job of showing how the odious American term “uppity N…..” was so well known, that “uppity” by itself became a staple of right wing talk radio and dog whistle Republican politics. The Obamas were always being described as being “uppity” about this or that. The people using the term knew exactly who they were talking to and what they were saying about the President and First Lady. “Uppity” might just as well have the N-word attached to it. In America it means the same thing.

                Liked by 2 people

                1. OK. Thanks.

                  Of course, by my understanding of it, they kinda had some reason for being uppity, regardless of the colour of their skin… Harvard Law School and all!

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. Tris…….Yep! Obama was so high in his class that he made a 1990 story in the New York Times about being named president of the “Harvard Law Review.” He was the first black to be chosen to that exalted position at Harvard.

                    But for Trump, the story became an important part of his Obama”birther” movement into Republican politics. Trump demanded that Obama authorize Harvard to make his grades public. Obama ignored it, but the racists heard the “dog whistle.” Obama is black and too stupid to have a Harvard degree with honors, so it’s all another part of his birther conspiracy of lies and corruption.

                    I don’t think the NY Times digital archive link will open to a non-subscriber, but the Times article from February 6,1990, begins this way:

                    “The Harvard Law Review, generally considered the most prestigious in the country, elected the first black president in its 104-year history today. The job is considered the highest student position at Harvard Law School.”
                    “The new president of the Review is Barack Obama, a 28-year-old graduate of Columbia University who spent four years heading a community development program for poor blacks on Chicago’s South Side before enrolling in law school. His late father, Barack Obama, was a finance minister in Kenya and his mother, Ann Dunham, is an American anthropologist now doing fieldwork in Indonesia. Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii.”

                    Liked by 2 people

                    1. Yes, Trump really is nasty and evil and corrupt and ignorant beyond words!

                      I discovered that a friend in New York City has a print subscription to the Times. That automatically gets him unrestricted digital access, AND a free digital subscription for one friend who can piggyback on his subscription. So now I have unrestricted access to both the current Times website and the digital archives. I have a Times account with password and everything. I hope my friend keeps his print subscription…..LOL.

                      Liked by 2 people

                  1. Yep Ed…….”Uppity” is Republican “dog whistle” politics pure and simple. The right wing radio racists really enjoyed saying that the Obamas were uppity.

                    Liked by 2 people

                    1. Like naughty children becasue they were getting away with saying a rude thing and not getting spanked for it.

                      That sounds like them.

                      They did the same sort of things here when there was a spat of “shock jock” right wing radio. I see to recall that Dr David Starkey was one of them.

                      He recently fell on his backside and skinned it when he tried the same thing outside of the kind of radio stations he used to find work on.

                      He then found himself without his honorary professorship at Cambridge and at some other university. No more high table for him.


                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. Ooh, I didn’t know that, Tris! How the mighty are fallen! Tsk, tsk! Schadenfreude is such an ugly, petty emotion, isn’t it, Tris, so I shall eschew it ostentatiously.

                      Liked by 1 person


                      The rather jolly thing was Neil Oliver got involved too by declaring that he loved Starkey on Twitter. It seems that perhaps that was the final straw for the National Trust, who announced he was stepping down as chairman (having overseen the massive drop in the organisation’s membership).



                    4. Tris…….Oh WOW! That sounds interesting. I’m familiar with Starkey! I must look into what happened. I remember him once saying that the quality of the Queen’s conversational skills did not come up to his expectations.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    5. Stupid man. She was home schooled for her class.

                      So she learned piano, French, and of course, from her father, after 1938, she would have had to learn politics, international relations and history.

                      To be fair she also learned motor vehicle mechanics during the war.

                      She also has virtually no experience of ordinary things that the rest of us take for granted.

                      She probably found the obnoxious little toad terribly boring and middle class. I wonder if she yawned while he was lecturing her.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    6. LOL…….I suspect that learning not to to yawn at the commoners must be at the forefront of royal etiquette.
                      There’s a story that the queen was once heard to say that she thought she could still change a flat tire if she had to. Rather funny to think about! The royal Bentley blows a tire and the queen springs into action. 🙂

                      Liked by 2 people

                    7. Ah, great, Danny. I’ll know who to call when I get a puncture.

                      I’m a mechanical dunce, but I’ve helped to pay her wages for years, so she can come and change my tyre or wheel or whatever it is you do with these things.


      2. and yet now i’m reading that Ruth Davidson is saying they should have “put the boot in” after the 2014 referendum.
        That’s quite disgracefully inflammatory language to use. I quite get it that she’s talking colloquially, figuratively
        and not in a literal sense, but I can’t help but remember the scenes of violence in George Square after the referendum when the knuckle dragging unionist thugs did quite literally put the boot in. She needs to be careful with her language and not give licence or encouragement to any repetition of that.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, I haven’t read the article, as it’s behind Murdoch a pay wall, but it is an unfortunate expression, given, as you say, some of the people who might not be sufficiently bright tom realise it was a metaphorical boot.

          But what did she mean by it?

          I’d be interested to hear what she proposed.

          England put us jocks back in our place?

          Take away powers?

          Shut down Holyrood?

          It would be interesting to know how she would have put us in our place.

          Incidentally, I assume that her criticism of how we were dealt with, is a criticism of Cameron, who, you’ll remember, chose her.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Tom Gordon in the Herald, quotes R Davidson and her “putting the boot in” advice. It was a surprisingly direct column, considering the auther and paper. It left Davidson in a poor light and finishing with a sympathetic sentence for independence.
            Can’t help feel things are moving, the game is on.

            Liked by 1 person

                1. Thanks, Alan.

                  I see that Davidson is combining her stay-at-home-mum role with working for Downing Street, given that her attempt at a PR job fell flat on its face, when ironically, she got such bad PR for accepting the post only weeks after saying that she wanted to stay home.

                  Interesting view from a woman on her way out, but still thinking she’s important in the Tory movement.

                  Some say she was a great success taking her branch party into opposition instead of 3rd place. Maybe she did bring in some younger people, but as a strategist and parliamentary performer she was incredibly poor in comparison to Annabel Goldie. And her success may have had much to do with the abysmal quality of leadership in the Labour Scottish branch, which has been on a steady downward trajectory since the days when the parliament was set up.

                  I’m still at a loss to understand what “putting the boot in” would have achieved.

                  If we are a democracy and “the will of the people” counts for anything, then the results of the election fought on a policy of a second referendum if Scotland were to be dragged out of the EU against its will, must be respected.

                  Membership of the EU was a strong argument of the Remain side. It even made me question how we would move forward without being a part of the biggest and richest trading partnership in the world.

                  Ruth Davidson and her mate Mundell fought hard in our referendum to persuade us that we would not survive outside the EU, and again in the EU referendum, and then they changed their minds on the day that England voted to leave. Carlaw also did a 180 turn on that.

                  Suddenly it was a great opportunity. Well, they might think that (or be told by Cummings to do so), but we don’t.

                  I read somewhere that, in the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement, signed by the UK government, a generation is defined as seven years. Anyone else read that?

                  Anyway, again, thanks for sending it on.

                  Liked by 1 person

                    1. Thanks, Ed. I was sure that I’d heard that.

                      I’m not sure why Scotland would be treated differently from NI, unless, as one hapless Tory MP pointed out in the Commons (rather unwisely) Scotland is different from NI because, and I paraphrase, NI is likely to take steps that Scotland is not.

                      In other words, mess them about and you have violence

                      It was rather a silly thing for an MP to say… I have a sneaking suspicion that it was Mr Bowie, but I’m not sure and I can’t find any reference to it.


                    2. It’s quite an admission, isn’t it, that a government will refuse to respond to peaceful, democratic demands for change and only to the threat or use of force. Still, out of the mouths of babes and idiot Tory MPs…

                      Liked by 1 person

                  1. I see Ed has linked to the GFA.
                    Some time ago I was looking at the set up for border polls in Ireland (I was sick of the “you said once in a generation” tape loop). I was intrigued as to what triggers a border poll. Apparently a border poll can be called when public opinion has shifted, gauged not by an advisory referendum but by the Sec. State!
                    Parity with N.I. coming and Alister Jack’s added duty?

                    R Davidson’s sudden reappearance is interesting. She pops up (thrust up, puppet fashion?) and spouts some thugs war cry. I don’t buy it, this was not meant for Scottish consumption. After 2014 she was speaking about reaching across, to unite, move forward as one etc. No mention of putting the boot in or a cry of havoc. I think, like Johnson, she will say anything to further her prospects.

                    I’ll be watching for further promotion work to the career of Ruth Davidson. Her media promotion for the election, that returned 13 seats, gave her a high positive profile in England.

                    It is a game trying to second guess what is happening and where it is heading but Ms Davidson could be the answer to a couple of tory central problems. Disquiet, splits with No10 management style and what happens if/when brexit falls way short of delivering the promised sunny uplands. A rallying bugle call and the “ebullient” Roothie comes down the M1, Cleopatra like on the back of a camel, some poor bovine or a tank.

                    Is she insurance for the back bench 1922 should the need to elbow BlowJob aside? Picking a leader from one of their home gown would cause further splits. I have no doubt somewhere in her file will be words echoing General Wolfe’s, “if she falls, no great mischief.”

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. I’d heard or read the “no great mischief” phrase before, of course, and decided to dig a bit into the context to refresh my failing memory. My vast erudition and peerless googling skills – oh, alright, just my peerless googling skills – led me to a fortuitous discovery from the (Toronto) Globe and Mail of 2 December 2013. The opinion piece in question reports that the University of Toronto had purchased a collection of Wolfe’s personal letters in the UK, leading to another reassessment of Wolfe and his life and career, and in one telling phrase mentions “the predictable noises of Anglo triumphalism”:

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. Your peerless googling skills (not to mention your vast erudidity) produce some interesting reading.

                      I’m not sure how your brain can manage it!


                    3. Yes, she who is too busy looking after her son to be bothered with being the opposition leader in Scotland (and has, from the back seat, watched her successor oversee an election in which he lost half their seats) may be ready to have another stab at the top job.

                      A seat in England and Downing Street.

                      She’s not even vaguely up to the job.


      3. I think the reason might be that the police are on it. To comment might prejudice any future case. Got any lawyer friends to ask?

        Liked by 1 person

    2. An inability to distinguish between civic and blood-and-soil nationalism seems to be peculiar to certain left-wing BritNats; the right-wing ones are frequently too close to Nazi ideology to want to draw attention to the similarities…

      That’s in Scotland. Folk down in England can perhaps be forgiven for confusing our cheery waving around of saltires with the aggressive and threatening waving around of St George’s Crosses by the knuckle-dragging fraternity with which our English friends are so familiar, and fear so much. After all, if you see a St George’s flag flying outside someone’s house basically says an English Nationalist racist xenophobe right-wing nutter lives here, whereas a saltire usually just means that the inhabitant is a supporter of Scottish independence.

      The tragedy is that without better information from family or someone else they know personally, our English friends are not going to learn any better, because of the way we independentistas are portrayed by the Great British Meeja Machine.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. I was listening again to Fintan O’Toole and Antony Barnett from a year ago, picking through elements of the English collective psyche that allowed brexit.
        I somtimes feel sorry for England. They have a history that they cling to for identity, for a sense of who they are but being history, it is past, gone, and the image of The Empire is now less than pristine, being tarnished by the truth. A country of some 60 million, the fifth largest economy in the world (also history now), has a majority lashing out in petulant victomhood.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Alan: Excellent, Fintan sees things so clearly.

          Brilliant point about those who most advocate Brexit are the ones that will not suffer from it.

          In England, the Labour Party, as he says, has let the working classes down so badly.

          Liked by 1 person

    3. “Nazi” – I’ve had that epithet used against me too by people who one might have thought should know better, just because I’m an out, loud and proud Scottish independentista – all because of my supposed, assumed and alleged anti-English racism, you see, and my ambitions to wilfully and ungratefully cast off the generous, loving, caring and compassionate rule of our big brother to the south of us (cue “Mother of Parliaments”, which is rubbish because the Althing started up about AD 930, “Rule Britannia” and “Britons never, never, never will be slaves”, unless of course they’re black) in favour of the dead hand of fascist SNP autocracy in a new, one-party State dead set on rebuilding Hadrian’s Wall.

      (Performs quick reality check) Nevertheless, I remain as staunchly antiauthoritarian and antifascist and civic nationalistic as ever, and read books like On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder (, which only N-word-loving libtard pinko snowflakes like myself enjoy. Or are frightened by, depending.


          1. INterestingly, every law is written there in Manx and in English. On Tynwald Day they read out the acts that have been past that year in Manx.

            They are working hard to reintroduce the language. It is taught in some schools and in some schools lessons are taught in it… or so I read.

            Liked by 1 person

      1. Second that, Ed. The piano accompaniment is equally enjoyable.Not just incidental background music. And it has a distinctly Scottish feel to it.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. “Don’t mind me. I’m just sunbathing. Even very little birds need to cool down sometimes.”

    Talk about bird brained, surely the sun will warm you up??? Quite of lot of cats this week, it’s becoming like a Bulgarian village! Is the first picture a Rumble in the Jungle?

    Re the tree does anyone else remember the dog on That’s Life that said (sic) Sausages?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, true, there is a sort of mixed up message in there. I’ve seen birds in the garden doing that, they lie in the sun and spread their wings, so at the same time they look like they are sunbathing… and letting the air in under their oxters.

      Funny lot, birds!


      1. On re-reading my initial comment sounds bad so to clarify I wasn’t calling Tris bird brained. It was a pun based on it being a birdie photo. Tris has PhD and is a right clever clogs.

        Hangs head in shame given thought she might have indirectly insulted our host.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. #3 I wonder if the cat is dreaming up some more historic fiction?

    #5 … or is the wee wren sunbathing to warm up?

    #7 & 10 You really have to wonder if it was a good idea for birds to lose their wing-fingers or at least not retain a claw or two …

    #8 The very idea that I might be ‘disposable’ is a complete tissue of lies!

    #12 Such a corny suggestion …

    #13 I know Minnie, some things are just not cricket!

    #18 Sealed with a peck?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. O/t and especially for Tri who will understand more of it than me. (Written French sure, spoken not so much for me though handily the tweeter translated some of it!). Macron being asked about Scotland –

    “Journalist: Are you in favour of Scottish independence?
    Macron: It’s not my place to say, but I think Scotland will be eager to follow its own path and it’s europhilia.
    Journalist: Is that a yes to a free Scotland?
    Macron: For a European Scotland!”

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Presume we can therefore expect to see Macron renewing his sponsorship of Scottish rugby shirts in the next Six Nations??

      Liked by 3 people

  6. I like the Icelandic horses ignoring the mountain blowing up behind them. 🙂

    Also the penguins from Munguin’s Republic interviewing the sea lion. (Maybe a seal…..I don’t really know the difference.)

    Generally, an uncommonly fine assortment of appealing and charming critters this week. I would say “cute”, but I eschew comments on internet animal cuteness as a matter of principle. It’s a slippery slope from cute to cutesy to “awww”, and from there a descent into madness. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Tris…..Well said! 🙂
        A Soppy Sunday entirely devoted to science and architecture would not be the same….LOL.

        And speaking of science……we have a comet in the sky!, named “C/2020 F3, Comet NEOWISE”. It’s now near the sun with its maximum length tail and brightness, so after being visible just before sunrise for a few days, it’s now best seen an hour and a half or so after sunset, below the big dipper.

        Sadly, most people will not be able to see it with the unaided eye. It’s advertised as being “best” viewed with large binoculars, or a telescope, in a dark sky free from light pollution. So good luck with THAT, for most people at city locations.

        Anyway, the telescope pictures are nice.

        More of the northern sky is visible in Scotland than in most of the States, so if you have a viewing area free of obstructions at an angle of 10 degrees above the northern horizon, you could take a look under the handle of the big dipper about one and a half hours after sunset and maybe you might see it.

        This “GlasgowTimes” website has a picture purported to be what they saw with the naked eye. (Nothing about the focal length of the camera lens though.) If you have 8X30 or 7X50 binoculars for example, it would much improve your view if you already know where to look.

        Comet NEOWISE won’t be back again for 6800 years.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Awesome, Danny.

          I note we are going to have to get up around 3 am though… which may be a bit hard and, of course, this is Scotland, chances are there will be cloud!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Tris…..When an object is near the sun (as a visible comet always is), you generally have two choices of when it is visible. Either in the early morning just before sunrise……when it is rising with the sun and will soon be lost in the glare of daylight……OR……in the evening just after sunset, when the sun is gone, the skies have darkened, and it will soon have set below the horizon.

            What I just read here, is that the optimal viewing this week will be in the evening about 1.5 to 2 hours after sunset. So you might try in the evening there an hour or two after your local sunset. It might be visible about 10 degrees above the northern horizon, below the handle of the big dipper. The picture in the Glasgow website was over water, which is ideal of course for unobstructed viewing all the way down to the horizon.

            We won’t be able to see it here for casual backyard viewing, because neighboring houses and trees are well more than 10 degrees above the horizon, and we won’t have a view.

            Liked by 1 person

              1. Tris…..might be worth a quick look after the sky has darkened if you have an unobstructed view as low as 10 degrees, and can locate the handle of the big dipper. (It’s below the handle.) But don’t expect to see too much. I have very little luck at seeing comets in city skies, even with 8×30 binoculars….and this one is generally called a binocular comet. On the other hand, that “naked eye” view on the Glasgow website was reasonably bright……unless it was enhanced and Photoshopped.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Well, Danny, in the middle of the city there is a lot of light pollution but I’ll give it a try.

                  Of course, if I had the energy, I’d drive out into the countryside where I would get a better chance, probably on top of a hill… But after midnight I tend to turn into a pumpkin, or a toadstool or something akin… 🙂

                  Liked by 1 person

              2. Tris…..if it can be seen at all at your location, but have clouds, it should remain visible for the next few days. The key to finding it is seeing the big dipper clearly. This article shows where it is relative to the dipper, and where it’s been the last week. Tomorrow night it would be just a bit more to the left than the “26” position (tonight’s date).


                The Times had an article, but I have no idea what kind of a telescopic lens they had to get that first picture. 🙂

                Liked by 2 people

                  1. LOL……no, a smart phone won’t do the job. 🙂 I really wish that media articles about comets would make it more clear about how really hard it usually is to see them for most people in an urban location. And they should make it clear that pictures like the one that leads the Times story is NOT what you will see in the sky, if you see anything at all. I would like to know what kind of an awesome telescopic lens the Times photographer had. 😉

                    Liked by 1 person

              3. We saw it through binoculars one night last week, around midnight (Black Isle) – the tail was visible but it was very faint (bins are 8 x 30)

                Liked by 1 person

                1. I tried last night, but it was cloudy, and it’s even worse tonight. It’s rained solidly all day (not that I’m complaining too much. I planted a couple of new trees in Munguin’s garden yesterday so I’m grateful for the water).

                  Were you impressed?


    1. Agreed, Andi, and I know I’m a serious offender. I loved the photies too. I love orangutans in particular, and am convinced they are much nicer people than most humans. Same goes for gorillas, actually.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Agreed, Andi. Particularly good crop today (or yesterday as it is now). I was showing Luftwaffe Rob in the pub last night, and he added to the intellectual level with his comment on Minnie and the jeely jar grasshopper: “Cat TV!” And as a final go for Ed’s award, that would make the jar a cathode tube.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. In a close-run contest, John MacDonald pips everyone else at the post to win the coveted Freeman Golden Groan Award (MNR Edition)!

      The prize is for John to buy Ed a drink in his (John’s) favourite Bulgarian hostelry and introduce him to all the people and animals he mentions in his posts.

      Seriously though, I’d love to go to Bulgaria, not least because I’ve never been. Alas, my travelling days seem to be over for good now, though one can always dream.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. LOL. It’s rather awesome that people are sitting in bars in a country on the other side of Europe, looking at Munguin’s Republic.

      He’s sitting here looking very chuffed with himself.


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Talking-up Scotland

NOT conflating the aberrant with the norm like BBC

The Dunglishman

The bilingual blog about all things British


Love, theatre and ideas

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an irreverent look at UK politics


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